Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blue and Happy

It was the last gift my Granna ever gave me, this wooden box with an opening of specific diameter, galvanized roof on top and mounting holes on back. For thirteen years it had rested, hibernating on various shelves through six moves in two states, never fulfilling its purpose. October brought the positive mammogram and the biopsy and the surgery and suddenly everything needed to fulfill its purpose. So the bluebird house was dusted off (quite literally) and mounted east-facing above the blue bench and the blue hydrangea, to the oak in the corner of the memory garden.

It’s April now, and the week has been sprinkled with gypsy showers. It rains even now, slow and light, dripping from fiddleheads and dogwood. The petals flutter down to decorate the lawn. Robins run. Doves coo. Towhees “drink-your-teeeeeeeea”. The brown-headed cowbird sees me at the window and flies from the nest it was investigating.  And in the memory garden, crinum lilies stretch. Debbie’s irises bloom.

Inside, bedsheets churn in the washer. There will be no sunshine to hang them out in today, I think as I look out the window. A bluebird appears on the clothesline.

Oh! Oh! Such sweet, beautiful color, reminiscent of deep summer skies and plump berries and hydrangeas in gardens of both grandmothers. No wonder I surround myself with this hue, from the shutters on my little cottage to the paint on my car to the curtains and plates in my kitchen. Blue=happy. Even linguistically, I smile at its witty polyseny.

And over in the memory garden, success.  The nesting box has a tenant. Or two. This makes me doubly happy.

My heart sings. Zip-a-dee-do-dah, y’all.

Monday, March 30, 2015


 August 25, 2012
I was unprepared, basket of peppers and zinnias in hand, yard-sale pots and pans in the back of the car. I was unprepared when she opened the door, ninety pounds of worn woman with black eyes deep in malnourished sockets. Black eyes that lit up and shone bright with delighted surprise at the simple gift in my hands. This was my first welcome, my first fresh-from-the-camps encounter, my first standing-so-close to the edge that I could almost see what her eyes had seen. I was unprepared. I may never find my breath.

September 9, 2012
I saw her again yesterday, walking in the parking lot of the apartments many refugees call home. I did not recognize her at first, long black hair shining down her back, cheerful blue skirt billowing in the breeze. Our eyes met. She smiled and waved furiously, recognizing the car that brought the basket. Her eyes, her wave, her posture: all revealed the beauty that hope brings, the health that nourishment brings. #Godatwork

March 29, 2015
A delectable aroma escaped the opened door. I hurried to leave my shoes on the step alongside dozens of other pairs as she took both my hands, ushering me into the crowded front room, into a birthday party unlike any I have ever attended. A pastor stood by the window, crepe paper flowers alongside his worn bible, speaking in one of the languages of Burma. I was quickly guided between rows of young children (sitting quietly! listening!) to a seat on the couch. My sister-in-Christ, Julia, friend of the family, partner in mission, sat on the floor next to me.

We listened. Our ears did not understand but our spirits were in agreement. We sang the songs with them, two languages at once to one tune. I wondered if this was how God hears all of us at the same time, hearts attuned even if the words are different.

We prayed, ending with the familiar “Amen”, this language of Hebrew knitting us. In harmony, in one language, we sang Happy Birthday, with an added verse: “May God bless you always.” The food—fried chicken, noodles, shredded vegetables, soup, agar, watermelon, pineapple cake with strawberries—poured out from the tiny kitchen in a steady stream, served by children, loaded onto 6’ round tables with 8” legs. Knee to knee on the floor, conversations and laughter flowed.

And what of the woman? She beamed. She glowed resplendent in lavender, in a handmade, wrapped-and-tucked skirt and side-buttoned blouse sent in love from another woman half a world away, where her two eldest children had remained behind. Today she was celebrating birth and life. Today, she welcomed friends and church. Today, God was evident. #Godatwork

Today, she wrapped her arms around me.

Monday, March 16, 2015


I probably should not be this amused.

For the last thirty minutes, I have stood, sipping a nice chai latte, watching out the front window of my house, shaking my head. Over and over, the same scene has repeated itself: Car travelling at 45 mph suddenly applies brakes, driver leaning forward in puzzlement or disbelief or anger. Moments later, the car is seen again as it heads back from whence it came.

The road is closed as of yesterday.

There are warning signs. Two of them. Very large, with a combined square foot surface of probably a hundred feet. One is lit. The other partially blocks the lane.

And yet, they come.

What is it about people that makes them ignore such warnings?  Do they think it does not apply to them personally? Are they distracted? Do they think they have special permission or super powers or some irrevocable right? Do they want to see how far they can get? I know they cannot see the end from the point where they passed the sign, but do they think it does not exist if they cannot see it?

Really, I should not be amused. I imagine we will be hearing sirens at some point because this is an accident waiting to happen. Dark of night, perhaps? I should be prepared. I should be on the watch. Trim the wicks, as it were.

The story of the ten virgins comes to mind. They are waiting for the bridegroom and they do not know when he will arrive, but they must be prepared. At midnight, the call comes out that he approaches. All rise and trim their wicks, but only half are ready with oil. The ones who were not prepared are shut out of the wedding feast. It is not a happy ending.

Out my window, the road crew moves one of the signs farther into the lane to get the attention of the drivers.  ROAD CLOSED. I think my show is over and I turn to put the empty mug in the sink.

And another three cars speed by.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Muddy Boots and Narrow Paths

The lyricist says, “Life is a highway. I’m gonna ride it all night long.”  If he meant it is full of accidents and construction delays and raging people and an occasional detour, I concur.

Otherwise, I think I shall disagree.

Highways are straight. And wide.

My life, on the other hand, is full of twists and spirals. It is sometimes a hard path to follow, uncharted and wild and so narrow at points that I cannot even see the very next foothold.

Highways stretch smooth concrete and asphalt, leveling fields, blasting through mountains. My path is unpaved, natural and rocky. My boots are muddy. I slip, stumble, fall.  Obstacles have not been bulldozed ahead of me.

Highways offer egress only where the planners have deemed. I can choose my own rest areas, decide for myself when I need to stop, even if it is right in the middle. And believe me, I have stopped right in the middle. More than once.

And highways bypass the beautiful. That’s one big reason why I prefer my more scenic route.  Stop and smell the roses? Sure, anytime. And not just smell, but breathe in and admire and examine.

The highway is the way of the masses.  I guess I am counter-cultural, the salmon swimming upstream. So what if I don’t have a paddle. Neither does the salmon.

I saw a bumper sticker today. “You laugh at me because I am different.  I laugh because you are all the same.” The irony? We were on a highway. But I got off at the next crossing.

May you exit the highway and find your path. Roses await.

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:14

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The What Ifs

What do you do when unexpected, uninvited, unwelcome company shows up?

The What-Ifs have come for a visit.

I really shouldn’t be surprised. I am as human as the next person. But here, the day before surgery, the questions have begun to infiltrate my brain. And like with every other question I encounter, the only way I know to keep them from becoming cyclical thoughts and taking over, is to answer them.
What if it really is cancer?

Then we attack it with everything we’ve got. Curveball? Hit it and return it with more force than when it was delivered. One step at a time, as it comes. Strap on the armor.
What if it’s worse than they thought and you wake up without a breast?

Then I learn how to wear a prosthesis. And take care of what I have left. Or right, in this case.

What if they remove your breast and your husband decides he doesn’t want you anymore?
Oh, come on! Really? Where are these ridiculous questions coming from? Get outta town!

I am not proud of the questions. But they are there, and I will face them down, one by one. And when they come back again, I will remind them that they have already been answered and therefore are not worthy of a revisit. Lather, rinse, repeat.
But the biggest one? What if I don’t wake up from surgery?

That one demands attention and thought. And preparation.
Here’s where I tell you I love you and am thankful to God for bringing you into my life, how I am grateful for whatever part you have played in this grand production, how it would not have been the same without your input, your encouragement, your smile, your questions, your prayers. I am sincere.

We are eternal beings, housed in mortal flesh. We have a choice as to whether we spend that eternity with God or without Him. I choose to spend it with Him, walking with Him now… and forever. So honestly, I am not afraid of not waking up tomorrow, or any day. Not that I want to leave yet: I have so much work left to do! But if I don’t wake up tomorrow, or after surgery, or next week, please grant me two wishes.
One- Continue my work. Continue God’s work. Feed the hungry. Visit the lonely. Encourage the broken. Magnify the beauty. Shine the light.

Two- Do your own prep work. Be ready. Decide if you will choose to be with God or without Him.

And with that word, I send the What Ifs packing. Take a hike, questions! Go! I hear the mountains are beautiful this time of year.




Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Sung’s  arms hung limp at her sides, her face showing sleepless nights, her eyes dull and blank.  Around her scurried others (Friends? Relatives?)—a thin man, vibrant young woman with a little one tied on her back, small children with gleeful smiles—as they unloaded my trunk.

“Many foods!” exclaimed the vibrant one, adjusting the sling as the baby peered over her shoulder. She lifted and swung the twenty-five pounds of rice easily, gracefully, disappearing into the doorway of the apartment.  Sung still stood.  I smiled, met her eyes, and  placed two chickens in her hands. She looked at them, looked at me, turned woodenly toward the door.

Her husband lay miles away, pierced with tubes and lines attached to blinking, beeping machines, wrapped and bound. The accident had come with great force and greater loss: a disabled bus braking ahead, an attempted merge, blind spot, sideswipe, loss of control-- three dead, two injured.  One moment in the black of night changed everything. And Sung stood bewildered in a foreign land with few who spoke her language, her three small children clamoring around her numb legs.

Another took the chickens from her and Sung suddenly enveloped me in a hug. Tight, real, aching, like a hug from one of my own children. My heart ached. Where was her own mother? Back in the refugee camps? Did she know yet?  I wanted to tell her everything was going to be okay, but the only phrase I knew with anything close to that meaning was kaun deh: “it is good.” And this? This was not good.

The others did quick work, emptying the trunk of collard and turnip greens, cabbage, onions and garlic, mangoes and limes and tart apples. Cartons of eggs were met with oohs and the children squealed at the sight of grapes.  The thin man’s face lit with happiness in recognition (Chiles! he cried) at the bag of red and green cayennes from my garden. Sung warmed when I handed her the box filled with containers of fresh, spicy, homemade vegetable soup.

Thank you, she said. Jesu payt. And I was wrapped in another hug. She held on, made a small sound, held on a little longer.

Jesu payt. It sounds almost like “Jesus paid.” Yes, indeed He did.  Kaun deh.

God bless you, I said. Yes, she replied. Yes. I got in my car to go back to my world, where I never have to worry about where my next meal will come from and where my medical bills are covered and where I understand what the doctor is saying and where, if I really wanted to, I could drive four hours to my mother’s house. And Sung stood on the sidewalk, her hand frozen in mid-air.



Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Night Before

This is the Night Before It Gets Real. Tomorrow, at 2:30 I meet with the surgeon.

 It had started innocently enough, with one of those silly facebook status update games for Breast Cancer Awareness. I have always rolled my eyes at them, wondering how on earth that was supposed to help. But this time, instead of playing along, I simply promised to go have my mammogram. I was a year and two months overdue. It was time.

The mammogram appointment was quick and painless. I arrived home in record time, resumed my day getting ready for our long-awaited vacation. Gave it not a second thought.

Vacation was glorious at the beach. My husband and I enjoyed brisk morning walks around the resort, relaxing floats around the lazy river, leisurely lunches on the balcony. We were out on that balcony when I missed the call. Radiologist. She left a message. Call me back, she said.

I called back and left a message on the voice mail which informed me that all calls would be returned after 4:00, and that there was no need for multiple calls to that number. It was 1:53.

Some hours are longer than others. The afternoon had turned sweltering, so we had decided on a quiet indoor time. And there we sat; he, watching a replay of a football game on his laptop, blissfully unaware of the call, and I, researching and writing for an upcoming women’s retreat, reading scripture after scripture about seasons and cycles of life, alternately calm and churning.

4:56. The return call came. I was being called back in for a second look. Don’t worry, she said. It is common to come back in. When can you get here?

We scheduled for the earliest time on my first day back. And all the rest of the week, I saw pink ribbons in the souvenir shops and on the tailgates of cars and in the hot pink bikinis at the pool. I moved my own pink shirt to the bottom of the drawer.

The appointment came and I once again subjected myself to the Pancake Machine. Extra views. More extra views, with magnification. Technician left and returned with a doctor. Calcium deposits, she said. No need to worry, it’s a very small area. But you will need a biopsy. Just to be sure. When can you get there?

I left with a pink folder and an appointment for the afternoon at the Breast Center. Next to Day Surgery. At the hospital downtown, the big one with all the latest and greatest technology. And my bewildered husband drove us and we circled around and around under the low ceilings of the parking garage and the biopsy was done and they said expect a call by Thursday and we went home and ate soup and went to bed early with ice packs and Tylenol and prayers.

At 10:54 on Wednesday morning, the radiologist called. It’s not malignant, she said. But there are two types of atypical cells and we need to schedule a consultation with a surgeon. What? Ok. She said the surgical office would call me directly to schedule. Ok.

What next? Sit and wait? No, the fridge is empty because I cleaned it out before vacation and there’s nothing in there and the cats need litter and it is grocery day, like every Monday. Wait. It isn’t Monday, it’s Wednesday. Somehow I missed grocery day. The schedule must be upheld. Order must be maintained. Grocery store, it is.

And at 2:08, as I stood in the middle of the meat aisle, between the chicken breasts and the gluten-free nuggets, next to the sign that announced the 25% off sale, my phone rang.  Do you have a preference for a surgeon, she asked. Is there a day that’s best? Monday, I said. Monday. And as my phone chimed its battery warning, she gave me a date. And I fumbled in my purse for my notebook but came up with my sketchbook instead and wrote in pencil on the back of the cloud study. And suddenly, my stomach complained about the smell of the butcher counter and the red slabs of meat and I needed to find a neutral aisle, with orderly boxes and cans and no people.

And now, it is The Night Before.

And I haven’t even done the paperwork. And the appointment is still written in pencil in the sketchbook behind the clouds, as if putting it in ink somewhere gives it power.

So now the rubber meets the road and I have to decide, again, like every day, multiple times, for the past two and a half weeks, if I am going to worry or if I am going to trust. And I will choose to trust. Because God has been whispering through scripture and through the hugs and prayers of friends and the songs at church and the card from my Nancy and the soft, strong hands of my husband clasping mine. I know Who goes before me and Who stands behind. My God carries me. Whom and what shall I fear?

I get out the ink pen and start the paperwork.




Thursday, September 25, 2014

Turn, Turn, Turn

I open the closet door and Sammy’s arms fall at my feet.

Don’t worry. He’s a mannequin. Sammy had an accident earlier this year, tumbling off his rod when I scooched him behind the curtain in the sewing loft. So his arms now reside in The Closet.

A long, narrow attic space under the eaves at the top of the stairs, carpeted with the remnants of a 70s era shag, The Closet is my version of my Granna’s storage building. She named hers “Purgatory”. It fit.

Here reside, in a holding pattern, all generally-past-prime or rarely-called-into-service things I keep tucked away for a rainy day. Literally, it is raining today, and I need to find some floral wire to finish an autumnal wreath. That’s appropriate, too. Fall is to me the season when everything vigorous begins to wane, to be tucked into bed (or a cozy closet) for a long winter’s nap, awaiting in hope that Spring will, indeed, come.

Spring resides in The Closet, in the Very Back. It shows itself in my box of childhood and youth memorabilia: the resin Cocker Spaniel bank, the sheet music for flute for Scarborough Fair, the cheerleading plaque. There lies the flower garland from my friends’ wedding. I hold it in my hands and remember the beauty of the day, the laughter, the utter joy. Spring feels invincible. When we’re in it, when we are living the Spring of our lives, we feel invincible. Days stretch forever. And then we turn and it is Summer.

Summer is in the boxes of toys and books, vestiges of the Good Old Days when I was young and fearless and full of children and song. I love summer, with its greening and its growth and its fruit. I always hate to see it end and turn into fall, when the baby birds move on and the leaves let go. I’m not so good at letting go. I thought I was, but evidence crowds the close walls of The Closet.

Ah, Sammy. His open palms are turned up. Let go, he says.

The leaves are turning, breathtakingly gorgeous, gloriously blazing in their true colors after slipping off chlorophyll masks of green. Soon, they will release themselves from the branches and become airborne, flying in the wind or freely floating on the calm. It is a new season, one of harvest and gratitude and acknowledgement of winter’s approach, when the migrating birds will settle and nights lengthen.

I turn up my open hands to release, that I may receive the blessing, embrace the cycle.

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


BREAKING NEWS: I have a brain disorder! Not a mental disorder, as some of you may have thought. Well, I probably need a second opinion on that, but we shall start with the brain disorder.

For twenty-five years, I have had neurological symptoms that have not only puzzled me, but have stymied my doctors. In less than twenty-five minutes, my new neurologist may have figured out the problem.

It appears I may have a rare form of "silent" migraine, one that manifests itself in neurologic symptoms rather than in head pain. It is based in the brainstem. And it may be treatable.

*pause here for hallelujahs and victory dances :)

It took untangling miles of red tape and a three month wait to see this neurologist. So in the interim, my friends and I prayed. We prayed for wisdom and understanding for the doctor and that she would have ears to hear what God spoke. We prayed for God to go ahead of me and prepare the way. We prayed for favor, for patience, for insight. We prayed through my wading through 20 years worth of files I kept at home and for just the right way to pull them cohesively into a spreadsheet-- or two. :) We prayed for peace. And we prayed for answers.

God answered today.

Twenty-five agonizing, hand-wringing, expensive years have passed. Why did God wait so long? I don't know. But I do know that He works behind the scenes and puts things in order, in His timing. He didn't dry the path in the Red Sea in an instant, either. He worked all night, in the dark, from the far side of the bank. Moses and the people couldn't see His handwork until the path opened before them. (Look it up: Exodus 14:21.) But that did NOT mean that God wasn't working. They just couldn't see it. And what had Moses told the people just prior to this? "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." Ex 14:14

Oh, how I fight stillness! You would think I was a two-year old who'd slurped down a quart of red Kool-Aid. But God's word for me in the past year has been "wait". Truth be told, I have hated that word. (I am also not fond of its homonym, "weight"!)

Twenty five years ago, little was known about this disorder. Even ten years ago, it was a mystery. In fact, research on this disorder has come leaps and bounds in these last few years so quickly that the name of it is still evolving. God has been preparing the way for the answer. He has been preparing my neurologist. And in teaching me about "wait", He has been preparing me.

Next? A two-part process. One: identify triggers. We already know that chemically-based fragrances (including air fresheners and some perfumes), cigarette smoke and volatile organic compounds (varnishes, fresh paint, paint thinners, etc) are my major triggers. Now we have to identify if there are others in my diet. Two: find the right medication. We start the hunt on Wednesday with a prescription calcium channel blocker. Its purpose is to relax blood vessels as well as calm the excitability (and prevent nerve cell damage that occurs) of one of the neurotransmitters that goes haywire during an episode. I am NOT a fan of medication, so this is going to be a challenge for me. (First step in old-lady-hood is lining up that first little pill bottle, right? Ack!)

Thank you for your prayers and your support through all of this. And in your next prayer time, please thank God for answers and for Dr. Andrea Diedrich. (I just sent her a thank you note and told her you all and I had been praying for her for months. I hope it encourages her!)


Monday, August 29, 2011

Math Lesson

Some will not read this because of the title. I myself would be tempted to skip it for that very reason! If you know me, you know I do not like math. The mere mention of math assaults my brain. Practicing math = torture! I avoid anything that smells of mathematics.

In math, as in all subjects, the best teachers are ones who introduce you to a concept and then present the opportunity to work it out. Remember those worksheets? (Ugh.) I never would have learned my multiplication tables if I had not been given immediate exercises to complete. (And more for homework? Agony! Affliction! )

God is an excellent teacher. In Sunday School last week, we explored the story of the good Samaritan, which Jesus told to illustrate the point that all peoples are our neighbors. True to form, God gave me an opportunity this week to work it out through personal experience. (Okay, Holy Spirit, as long as there is no math involved!)

The Samaritan came across a man in need. Others passed by the man, but the Samaritan stopped to assist.

Friday, I came across a man in need. Others passed by, and I nearly did, too. I had good reasons: 1) I was on the phone with my daughter who was asking for advice. 2) I had a trunk full of groceries, some perishable. 3) I know little about cars. 4) I was a woman, alone, and as such, stopping to help a man is not usually considered advisable.

The young Asian man stood to the side of the disabled vehicle. Something about the way he stood, helpless and distraught, sliced the excuses right out of my heart. The mother in me (whose own son had been a lone student in Japan for a year, beyond my reach or help) applied the brakes and turned into an adjacent parking lot.

He was from China, an exchange student at the nearby college (ironically the same university my son had attended), and had been in the States only two weeks. The car belonged to another Chinese student, who was walking to a nearby store to purchase jumper cables. He was beyond grateful that someone had stopped to check on him. I stood alongside, unable to offer anything but companionship, wondering why on earth God would have prompted little ol’ automotively-incompetent me to stop. And then something happened. God used me to multiply His favor.

Another stopped. A chivalrous man had seen me next to the car and assumed I was the owner. He stopped to help a woman, not a young man. Turns out it was his day off. His regular job? A mechanic for AAA.

The mechanic pulled out a few tools and brushed the battery terminals. The car started. With their permission, I followed them home just in case the car died again. Both students were touched, and I did not receive the traditional Chinese bow but warm American hugs instead.

How beautifully God works! How perfectly and precisely! And always with a little humor for my benefit: the student was a math major. I love God.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sincerely Wrong

I watched a documentary last night about a man who claims to be the Second Coming of Christ. I was shocked by his doctrine, shocked by his tattoo (666!), shocked at his followers.

Then I went to sleep and had nightmares!

There are thousands who follow this false prophet. They are devoted, excited, passionate, sincere. Unfortunately, they are sincerely wrong.

I am reminded of a young man who took a summer job on a farm. The new hire was shown the difference between the weeds and the good plants and sent off to hoe a row. He threw himself into the task, worked hard, and was proud of the results of his labor. Several hours later, the foreman discovered the earnest young man had misunderstood the instructions. Hundreds of tomato plants lay decimated, surrounded by upright weeds. Sincere? Yes. Wrong? Yes.

What happens when instructions are misunderstood?

What if this new farmer had never been corrected? He could had gone home and begun to teach others what he believed! How many could have been misled? Sincere, yet wrong.

The man in the documentary is proud of his self-taught theology. He had a vision in which angels told him he was Jesus. He proceeded to interpret the New Testament as if he were the Second Coming, believing he had defeated Satan, that sin was no more.

His followers follow him, not the Bible.

The blind leads the blind. The weeds grow.

Sincere, yet wrong.

You will recognize his followers easily. They proudly have 666 tattooed on their arms. They even have a photo blog: newly-inked followers stand in front of his image and emulate his eerie, two-fingers-to-the-forehead salute.

The documentary had footage of children copying the gesture. The children are taught that this man is God. One child said his parents “party” (and we're not talking cake and balloons here) because “God does.” After all, there is no sin, right? Sincere. Wrong.

I don’t know what to do other than to pray and ask you to do the same. And please read and study your Bible. Don’t rely on a person to tell you what is truth. Learn from the Creator what is a weed and what is not. Check claims against scripture. Do not be deceived, do not be swayed. These people are out there, and with them others who are blindly led by man. Sincere. Wrong.

I know. As the old song goes, I once was blind but now I see.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just Shoot Me

Have you ever just thrown your hands up in despair and resignation, exhausted from attacking every angle of a problem so that you finally just give up? Just shoot me. I'm done.

I've been there more times than I care to admit.

When we are in that headlong rush, we have a determined, blind/deaf focus. It's only when we stop that we can see and hear beyond our blinders. Then, something amazing can happen.

We remember that there is One who can not only see beyond our limitations, but is also totally knowledgable, completely powerful and absolutely merciful.

God answers, God solves, God grants.

Well, amen!

It isn't always immediate. It isn't always what we thought we wanted. But if God is omniscient like we believe He is, then it is always what is best for us. He's our parent. You know what that's like. Do you give your child three pounds of fudge just because she wants it? What if it's almost dinnertime? What if she's diabetic? What if she's allergic to chocolate? She might not know any of those conditions, but you do. Same goes for God. He knows things that we do not.

Just as you are more interested in your child's health and future than her momentary "happiness", He isn't as interested in your happiness as much as He is in your holiness. Not that He doesn't want you to be happy. It's just way more important that you be on the right path, the one He has laid out for you. Because, remember, He knows things that you do not.

So how do you get there?

That's the primary question I have tried to answer in "Just Shoot Me", the new book that will be hitting the bookshelves in May. Here's an excerpt from Chapter 6:

What good does it do to ask God for direction if you are not going to wait long enough to hear His answer? That’s like placing your order at St. Arbucks and then walking out the door before the barista can even chai your latte. Nonsensical, it is. (Repeat previous sentence in your best Yoda imitation.)

Psalm 5:3 (NIV) says, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

Oh, how I hate to wait! Patience, thou art not one of my natural virtues.

I once asked God for patience. He gave me children instead. That’s because God teaches patience, He does not simply give it. Humility comes the same way. Word to the wise.

I, the OCD-gifted multi-tasker, struggle with this simple order to wait. Can’t we walk and talk?

God does not shout. He does not struggle for attention. He is the teacher who stands and waits. What is that old saying? When the student is ready, the teacher appears. He does not raise His voice over the din, but gives His lessons in near-whispers. The student must lean close.

My class has only one student (moi!), but she has more noise and commotion in her head than 15 six-year-olds at Chuck E. Cheese.

I wander around my mind-field, searching for the day’s target. God, is this the place you want me today? Is it here? Do I write today? Do I work on illustrations? Do I pray? Do I? Do I? Are we there yet?

Listen. Await instruction.

I asked God about why He makes me wait for His voice.

He answered in a dream...

Okay, does that grab your attention? (smile)

Send for your copy: details in the right hand column. Yep. Right there.

What are you waiting for? Onward, friend!